Pilot Brian Douglas bringing the aircraft to the flight line
This is also my first day back at CTV Air Operations. I had missed a number of flight weeks while in Torino. A small price to pay I guess, but none the less, I am glad to be back at the hanger. Dave is away this week so I had Keri join me at flight ops.
Keri Adams with Pilot Brian Douglas as we prepare for flight
It was great day for flying as the sky was clear and sunny. It was off to Boundry Bay Airport to pick up a guest and go in search of nesting bald eagles. It didn't take long to find some. The area around the lower mainland is apparentally some of the best eagle breading in an urban center anywhere on the globe. In our short flight, we were able to "shoot", check that, "roll tape" on 8 nesting sights. All had sitting eagles except one. We were able to observe them from quite a distance as we kept clear as to not disturb them.
Our expert guest had been aboard with us last fall when we were doing a similar story up near Harrison Mills. At that time of the year there are thousands of Bald Eagles that come to feast on salmon that have returned up the river to spawn and die.
Back then our guest was very happy to take us on a guided flying tour of the river area. He boarded with a high end mini dv camera offering me the tape for our story. He told me he had some great shots of the birds and if we were unsuccessful we could use it. I don't think he was much of a believer in the power of the FLIR's 1000mm lens or my ability to use it. But his offer was a friendly one.
As we flew, he was looking out the window, not paying any attention to what I was doing with my "little" camera. He would tell our pilot in which direction the birds were as he zoomed in to get his shots. "If you just look over there" he would say, "You can just barely see,,,,"
"Just ahead there will be some dead trees, we're quite a distance away, but you might see birds perched on the branches"
With that, he leaned over my position to see if he could get a shot out of my window. I stopped him and said "Is that what you are looking for?" pointing to my monitor. "Oh my what a fantistic shot!"
I had framed a perched eagle, a head and shoulders shot, from about 1000 feet. "My goodness! I'll just put my camera away."
I think I made a believer of him.
Anyway it was nice to meet up with him again today. I always enjoy interviewing someone who is passionate about the subject of which they are speaking about. This man loves birds of prey, especially Bald Eagles.
Of course the first day back in air ops would not be complete without a technical glitch of some type. This one cost me a hit at 5. Kinda stupid really, but I believe my elbow hit a button that put the auto tracking transmitting dish into "manual". It was something I did not notice until just before we were to go to air and realizing there was a problem, I scrubbed the hit. It took a bit of working the problem with an engineer on the ground but we figured it out. I am a bit pissed at myself, but I haven't been on the machine in such a long time, anyway excuses are for losers.
I'll just have to make it up for tomorrows 5 show.
Tomorrow, a new beginning.
Murman "working the problem"